Ellen Macarthur Foundation


Ofsted highlight circular economy learning at Yorkshire School

The Foundation’s pilot education work has been mentioned in a recent Good Practice Example from Ofsted.

The paper, which looked at high quality innovation in Key Stage 3 design and technology to promote high achievement, used Archbishop Holgate’s School as an example of an institution that is developing a D&T curriculum that “stimulates students’ curiosity and provides them with the essential skills and knowledge needed to live and work in a technologically advanced world” – and the circular economy is highlighted as a key part of this.

Students are very well taught to develop modern, relevant skills in using computers to aid their design and manufacture. They learn about the social and ethical responsibilities of product designers, engineers, architects and chefs, and they learn the importance of managing finite resources with care. Students also have a good understanding of the concept of the circular economy and the school was one of the first to work on this aspect in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Link: Ofsted Good Practice Resource

The Foundation has worked extensively with Steve Parkinson, Subject Lead for D&T at Archbishop Holgate’s, in developing Design and Technology resources for release in September, and on the recent Redesign Lab CPD session at Clerkenwell Design Week. Steve noted:

During the good practice inspection the inspector was hugely interested in the circular economy concept, being impressed at how well it was embedded throughout the department. When designing products in Product Design and Engineering it is easier to become immersed in the more obvious attributes they possess, for example form and function. However having explored the circular economy, pupils at Archbishop Holgate’s are able to design and make things which take into account design for disassembly, material selection and construction for closed loop thinking. In 2011, a group of our Post-16 pupils won the “Yorkshire Inspirations” competition by designing a light product which was completely closed loop in terms of materials usage accompanied with a business plan and model to compliment.

Steve Parkinson

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